Apple may have difficulty With folded lenses modules for Her 2023 iPhones due to patents
Apple may have run into a problem with its plans to use folded lens modules in future iPhones. Apple, the Cupertino tech company, is facing patent issues regarding several components of its technology. These patents are held by other companies.
Apple’s promise to monitor U.S. customers’ phones and computers for child abuse images generated a worldwide backlash from rights groups. Employees also criticized the plan internally.
Apple will use folded zoom lenses or periscope lenses in future iPhones.
Samsung holds the majority of patents related to the technology.
Apple Inc. said Friday that it will take longer to gather feedback and improve child safety features following criticisms of its privacy system.
Apple’s promise to check U.S. customer’s phones and computers for child abuse images generated a worldwide backlash from rights groups. Employees also criticized the plan internally.
Critics suggested that the feature could be used by repressive countries looking for other material for censorship and arrests. It would also make it impossible for outside researchers or Apple to establish if they were only checking a limited set of content on their devices.
Apple is facing a similar problem with the optical image stabilizer it was to purchase from Jahwa Electronics. Jahwa and Samsung Electro-Mechanics co-developed the OIS technology. This technology might not be available to Apple.
Apple and its suppliers may develop their own versions of this technology in the future. The more likely scenario, however, is that Samsung will need to pay a licensing fee for using these technologies in the future by Cupertino’s tech giant.
Apple countered by saying it would allow security researchers to verify its claims. However, Apple on Friday stated that it would take longer to make any changes to the system.
The company released a statement Friday saying that it had received feedback from customers, advocates groups, researchers, and other stakeholders. It stated that they would take extra time to gather input and improve before releasing the critical child safety features.
Apple will use folded zoom modules to create its iPhone series, which will launch in 2023. The patent for the technology is apparently held by Samsung, so Apple faces a supply issue.
Periscope lenses are folded zoom camera modules, or periscope lens, as they are commonly called. They use prisms to bend light before it reaches their image sensor. This allows for longer optical zoom with a thinner lens, thereby reducing the protrusion of your phone’s camera module.
Apple planned to use the technology in its iPhones, which will debut in 2023. A new report shows that patents are preventing Apple from pursuing its plans.
According to The Elec, Samsung Electronics holds the patents for folded zoom technology. These patents were acquired by the company in 2019 through its acquisition of Corephotonix, an Israeli-based company. Along with Jahwa Electronics, Samsung’s Electro-Mechanics Division holds patents on the actuators used in folded zoom lenses. This folded zoom technology was used by Samsung on the Galaxy S20 Ultra first year.
This folded zoom technology uses a different actuator than the one Apple currently uses for its iPhones. Cupertino tech uses spring actuators for its iPhone cameras. Samsung Electro-Mechanics uses an actuator with a ball guide on its folded lens camera modules. This method is more efficient when used with folded zoom modules, accommodating larger image sensors than other lens technologies.
Apple will have to replace its existing supply partners Alps Electric, Mitsumi Electric, to procure these ball guide actuators from Samsung Electro-Mechanics. The Elec reports that Samsung Electro-Mechanics has been removed from Apple’s supply chain.
Matthew Green, a Johns Hopkins University cybersecurity researcher, had criticized Apple’s move. He said that Apple’s move was “promising.”
Green stated on Twitter that Apple should be clear about what it is scanning and why. It was a vast delta from scanning nothing (but emails attachments) and scanning everyone’s private photos library. This is why you need to justify such escalations.
Apple had been defending the plan for several weeks and provided several documents and explanations to prove that false detections were not possible.
It was planning to release the feature for iPhones, iPods, and Macs with software updates later in the United States.